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Analysis of the Dabang Mumbai squad for the 2016 Coal India Hockey India League

Dabang Mumbai
ANALYST
3.91K   //    21 Jan 2016, 14:18 IST
Dabang Mumbai Hockey India League team
The Dabang Mumbai team squad for a team photo

The 2015 Coal India Ltd Hockey India League Players' Auction saw 89 of the 272 players in the pool successfully sold as the six franchises completed their 20-member squad ahead of the 4th edition of the HIL

A total of 56 Indians and 33 foreign players were sold to the six franchises - Delhi Waveriders, Punjab Warriors, Dabang Mumbai, Uttar Pradesh Wizards, Ranchi Rays and Kalinga Lancers. The rest went to the reserve pool from where they can be picked in case a replacement is needed by the franchises in case of injury or any unforeseen circumstances.

Post the auction, the Alphas' squad included players from 5 countries - 12 Indians and 8 foreigners. Let's take a look at the formidable looking Dabang Mumbai squad which will fight for the HIL title:

Goalkeepers

The Alphas’ management retained their 1st choice goalkeeper David Harte for the 4th edition of the world's biggest hockey league, for who they paid a staggering US $65,000, which made him the highest paid goalkeeper in the HIL.

The 27-year-old custodian continued his fine form between the posts in 2014, helping Ireland qualify for the 2016 Rio Olympics for the 1st time in their history. In recognition to his efforts at the international stage, he was nominated for this calendar year’s ‘FIH Goalkeeper of the year’ award, the results of which are awaited.

In addition to the Irish international, the Alphas also signed an experienced custodian, 34-year-old Xavi Trenchs, who has 19 caps for the Spanish national team, making a cameo appearance at the 2012 London Olympics.

18-year-old Krishan Pathak was brought in by the Alphas as their 3rd choice goalkeeper and an understudy to Harte and Trenchs.

Defenders

Out of the 3 players retained by the Alphas, two players are defenders by trade - Australian international Jeremy Hayward and Indian youngster Harmanpreet Singh. 20-year-old Harmanpreet is the only Indian retained by the Alphas for this year’s CIL HIL, for which they paid a staggering price of US $51,000.

The Alphas’ defence has an Aussie feel to it with 3 of the 5 defenders being Australian internationals. Jeremy Hayward, Matthew Swann and Andrew Philpott have all played for the Kookaburras at the highest level. It would be safe to say that due to the presence of these mighty Aussies in the defence line, the Alphas have a formidable backline which can blunt down the opposition attacks.

The most expensive defender in the squad, 23-year old Gurmail Singh was bought by the Alphas for US $81,000. This price also makes him the 2nd costliest player in the Dabang Mumbai squad. Diwakar Ram replaced injured Nikkin Thimmaiah for the 2016 HIL.

Head coach, Jay Stacy is surely going to have a selection headache in deciding the combination that will take the field.

Dabang Mumbai Hockey India League
From (l-r): Vikas Sharma, David Harte and Gurmail Singh

Midfielders

Every team needs a midfield which can run the game for them, dominate the possession in the final third, defend when the opponents have the ball and most importantly keep the shape of the team. The Alphas kept the midfield of the team to all Indians, adding 5 Indians to their squad at the recently concluded HIL auction.

The main signing in the centre of the playing field is the 28-year old experienced campaigner Danish Mujtaba who has been capped 142 matches for the national team. Having made his debut in 2009, he has found the back of the net on 25 occasions and was part of the Indian squad that went on to clinch Gold at the 2014 Asian Games at Incheon.

It would be up to Indian internationals Tyron Pereira and Vikas Sharma to provide the much-needed support to Danish in midfield in order to control the match while youngsters Manpreet and Nilakanta Sharma will look to learn from their experienced counterparts.

Forwards

The Alphas boosted their forward line by securing the services of the sought after German international Florian Fuchs for US $96,000. This made him the second highest paid player (and the most expensive forward) at this year's HIL after his fellow countryman, Moritz Fuerste, who was bought by Kalinga Lancers for US $105,000. With such an outlay on Fuchs, Dabang Mumbai will have high hopes from the 24-year-old, who is a certainty to lead the line for the Alphas.

Indian youngsters Affan Yousuf, Roshan Minz and Gurjant Singh will add the extra energy to the forward line and would be hopeful to take the chances which come their way. Johan Bjorkman and Dylan Wotherspoon will also be at Jay Stacy's disposal, should he need them.

Here’s the complete squad:

Sr. No.

Player Name

Country

Age

Position

Base Price ($)

Auction Price ($)

1

David Harte*

Ireland

28

Goalkeeper

-

65,000

2

Krishan B Pathak

India

18

Goalkeeper

2,600

2,600

3

Xavi Trenchs

Spain

34

Goalkeeper

10,000

10,000

4

Harmanpreet Singh*

India

20

Defender

-

51,000

5

Gurmail Singh

India

23

Defender

12,000

81,000

6

Jeremy Hayward*

Australia

22

Defender

-

46,000

7

Matthew Swann

Australia

26

Defender

20,000

75,000

8

Andrew Philpott**

Australia

25

Defender

20,000

-

9

Diwakar Ram**

India

26

Defender

12,000

-

10

Nilakanta Sharma

India

20

Midfielder

2,600

2,600

11

Danish Mujtaba

India

27

Midfielder

15,500

54,000

12

Vikas Sharma

India

25

Midfielder

10,000

43,000

13

Tyron Pereira

India

28

Midfielder

6,000

6,000

14

Manpreet

India

19

Midfielder

2,600

2,600

15

Johan Bjorkman

Sweden

22

Forward

5,000

10,000

16

Florian Fuchs

Germany

24

Forward

20,000

96,000

17

Gurjant Singh

India

20

Forward

2,600

2,600

18

Affan Yousuf

India

21

Forward

17,000

53,000

19

Roshan Minz

India

28

Forward

6,000

6,000

20

Dylan Wotherspoon**

Australia

22

Forward

20,000

-

* - Retained ** - Replaced

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